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Wednesday, 4 October, 2000, 12:10 GMT 13:10 UK
Candidates try to look the part
Al Gore and George Bush shake hands
All smiles: But who came out better?
In round one of the televised debates between US presidential candidates George W Bush and Al Gore all eyes have been on the performances of each man. In this extract from the BBC's The World Today programme, body language expert Kevin Hogan takes a close look at the candidates.

Al Gore gestures
Al Gore: Can look wooden
One of the things that they both have difficulty with, is that both of these candidates have a reputation for not being empathetic. They do not seem to express the emotions of the common man well. Both men tried to do just that - tried to become more empathetic, to various degrees of success.

The two candidates are very different. Al Gore tends to be very wooden, he is very stiff, and George W Bush appears to be very deceptive in his communication, his eyes blink a lot.

George W Bush
Bush: Needs a steady gaze
Whenever you see someone communicate to you in any setting, and their eyes are blinking rapidly at the unconscious level, we believe that is a sign of deception, whether it is or not . And it really probably isn't in George W Bush. However, it is going to be perceived that way and that worked against him all night.

Whenever Gore got a little bit arrogant he would take his body, shift it to the left, and sort of readjust it towards the front again. He had a few moments when he was a little too arrogant, a little too sure of himself and condescending.

Al Gore and George Bush face each other
Physical looks are a factor
There is no question that in America women vote for tall men, for better-looking men, men with dark hair. And that is Al Gore. You can almost guarantee that the female vote in America will go to Al Gore.

Kevin Hogan is author of a book, Talk Your Way to the Top

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See also:

04 Oct 00 | Americas
Students' views on the big debate
04 Oct 00 | Americas
Analysis: Few sparks, little drama
03 Oct 00 | Election news
Debates on demand
26 Sep 00 | Education
Bush attacks 'education recession'
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12 Sep 00 | Election news
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03 Oct 00 | Americas
Debating for the White House
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